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Plea in Delhi HC seeking release of 916 foreign nationals related to Nizamuddin Markaz

ANI | Updated: May 21, 2020 22:31 IST

New Delhi [India], May 21 (ANI): A petition has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking the release of 916 foreign nationals related to Nizamuddin Markaz stating that they are held in institutional quarantine in the national capital despite having tested negative.
Twenty petitioners have preferred the instant writ petition in a representative capacity for a total of 916 foreign nationals, facing institutional quarantine since as early as March 30 in relation with the Markaz congregation.
The plea stated that the Department of Revenue (Delhi Government) order dated May 9 directing for the handing over of 567 foreign nationals, presently held in institutional quarantine for over a month in relation with the religious congregation held at Nizamuddin Markaz, "despite testing negative in the custody of the Delhi Police "with a consequential culminate effect being bereft of legality and ultra vires of Articles 14,21 and 22 of the Constitution of India and thus is liable to be quashed".

"The mere act of detaining 916 foreign nationals in institutional quarantine for over a month, despite all 916 persons now testing negative for Covid-19 shall tantamount to illegal detention and violating Articles 14, 21 and 22 of the Constitution of India and thereby praying for a Writ of Habeas Corpus be issued by the Court directing for the immediate release of the foreign nationals," the petition said.
The petition, moved through Advocate Ashima Mandla, will be heard on Friday. It stated that the continued detention in perpetuity of 916 foreign nationals violates the very fabric of liberty.
"On April 2, 2020, Union of India had issued Standard Operating Procedure and on April 3 direction for the initiation of deportation process of asymptomatic foreign nationals stranded in India. It is imperative to note that in the present case, only 79 foreign nationals, currently held in institutional quarantine, related to the Markaz congregation were initially tested positive for Covid-19. However, at present, all aforementioned 916 foreign nationals (including the 79 foreign nationals who initially tested positive for Covid-19) have tested negative for Covid-19," the petition said.
"Furthermore, the Department of Revenue in the impugned order directed for the release of Indian nationals from quarantine centres upon testing negative for Covid-19. Despite the same, there appears to be deliberate inaction and complete dilution of the fundamental rights on behalf of the respondents in releasing the foreign nationals from the respective quarantine centres," it said.
Further, FIRs in relation with the Markaz congregation have been registered by the Delhi Police against unknown number of foreign nationals out of a total of 916 aforementioned foreign nationals, the plea said. (ANI)